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Microsoft Dropping Azure Container Service in 2020

Microsoft's Azure Container Service (ACS), which commercially launched more than two years ago, will fall out of support on Jan. 31, 2020, according to a Microsoft post earlier this month.

ACS enables running Docker containerized applications and uses Mesosphere's DC/OS open source platform. Microsoft's reason for ending ACS support is that its Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) has better support for organizations using the Kubernetes container orchestration solution for clusters.

Microsoft first began offering AKS commercially back in June. AKS basically is just ACS with support for Kubernetes.

ACS users will still find that their applications will work on Jan. 31, 2020. However, lots of the new creation capabilities using ACS will get blocked. Microsoft will be dropping its software development efforts for ACS, too. Here's how Microsoft expressed the matter:

Beginning January 31, 2020, all ACS APIs will be blocked. Additionally, you'll no longer be able to create new clusters, update, or scale existing clusters using the portal, CLI, or Resource Manager templates. However, you'll still be able to list and delete existing clusters using these client tools. In addition, existing clusters and the applications running on them should continue to work, but please note that ongoing operation of these clusters is your responsibility and is not within Azure's support scope.

In addition, Microsoft has dropped its development support for the acs-engine project. It now favors the aks-engine. The aks-engine provides backward compatibility for acs-engine implementations, Microsoft explained. New clusters should start using the aks-engine, the company advised.

Microsoft offered three migration scenarios for ACS users to carry out before the Jan. 31, 2020 deadline:

  • ACS with Kubernetes users should "migrate to Azure Kubernetes Service or to the aks-engine open-source project."
  • ACS with Docker users should "move to the Basic or Standard/Advanced Docker Enterprise Edition for Azure solution template."
  • ACS with DC/OS users should "move to the Mesosphere DC/OS Enterprise or Mesosphere DC/OS Open Source solution template."

Microsoft's rather obscure ACS deprecation notice this month was spotted by veteran Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley in this article. Some sort of deprecation intent by Microsoft, though, had been understood back in March, she noted.

Microsoft also has a separate Azure Container Instances service, which started commercially back in April. It's a so-called "serverless Kubernetes" solution that relieves organizations of the burdens of having to create and maintain virtual machines.

In related container-type news, Microsoft announced this week that its "Azure Monitor for containers" capability has reached the general availability milestone (commercial release status). It brings support for monitoring "the health and performance of Kubernetes clusters" that are hosted on AKS. Users of Azure Monitor for containers get a multicluster views, but they can also drill down into the performance of "nodes, controllers and containers." A so-called "live logs" capability will permit IT pros to add "container logs directly in your Azure Portal" for "real-time troubleshooting."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.